Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Top NBA Fantasy Pickups

Friday, March 16, 2012


It’s been a pretty intense week at the Rotoworld Hoops Headquarters and this might be the most important Waiver Wired column of the season.  Therefore, I pulled out all the stops and it’s extensive, including all the winners (and some losers) from the trade fallout, as well as the coaching changes in New York and Portland.  Let’s do it.

 

Trade Losers

 

Here are some players who took a negative hit over the last week due to trades and coaching changes.  I’m not saying any of them should automatically be dropped, but you have to think about it if you’re looking to make good moves on your waiver wire.

 

Stephen Curry – He very well could be shut down for the season and Nate Robinson is playing well.  The Warriors want to tank and get a good draft pick, and I’m on the verge of cutting Curry in the one league I own him in.  However, I’m going to try to hold on through the weekend, until we get a better idea of what the plan will be going forward.  If you’re in a bind and need a healthy player, it might be best to cut the cord, but if you do it, don’t look back.  It’s a risky move that could backfire if Curry is suddenly healthy and starting a week from now.  Do ya feel lucky, punk?

 

Samuel Dalembert – Will now share time with Marcus Camby, which is not a good thing.

 

Jeremy Lin – Mike Woodson might start Baron Davis eventually, and the ball is going to run through Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.  Sadly, Linsanity is about to morph back into just being Jeremy Lin.

 

Darren Collison – Collison is still the starting PG in Indy, but with Leandro Barbosa in town to provide instant offense off the bench, George Hill could be on the verge of stealing Collison’s job.

 

Ekpe Udoh – Will back up a red-hot Drew Gooden in Milwaukee and has to learn how to play for Scott Skiles.  I think it’s time to move on, at least for the rest of this season.

 

Randy FoyeNick Young is not going to the Clippers to come off the bench.

 

Gerald Wallace – Has to learn a new system and new teammates in New Jersey, but should still start for the Nets.  Just expect there to be a learning curve and adjustment period, which could last the rest of the season.

 

MarShon Brooks – The arrival of Wallace should allow Brooks to continue to start at SG, but he’s not likely to be a top offensive option for the Nets with Deron Williams, Wallace and Kris Humphries on the floor.

 

Anthony Morrow – Wallace’s arrival directly impacts Morrow, who is now nothing more than a designated 3-point shooter.

 

Gerald Green – Green has been feeling it for the Nets, but I just can’t see it lasting much longer.

 

Timofey MozgovJaVale McGee should start over Mozgov, as long as George Karl doesn’t hate McGee and his antics.

 

Kawhi LeonardStephen Jackson may not start right away, but Pop loves him and Leonard simply has to take a hit.

 

Richard Jefferson – The old man is going to have to deal with Dorell Wright and Brandon Rush in Golden State, and he wasn’t doing much to begin with.

 

Derek Fisher – Will go from starter to third-stringer in Houston.  Or will be bought out by the Rockets and free to sign with another team, not that it matters in fantasy.

 

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Hot Pickups

 

I attempted to list these players in the order that I value them for the rest of the season.

 

 

Point Guards

 

 

Goran Dragic HOU - Kyle Lowry's not coming back anytime soon, if at all, and Dragic has been solid.  He’s averaging nearly 17 points, seven assists, a steal and two 3-pointers over his last five games.  He’s a bit risky in case Lowry does make a surprise return, but the vibe I’m getting is that Lowry’s going to be out for at least another three weeks.  Houston’s schedule isn’t great though, finishing up 3-4-3-4-5-1.

 

 

Ramon Sessions LAL – Say hello to the new starting point guard for the Lakers (although he won’t play on Friday).  Sessions reminds me a little of the point-guard version of Tyrus Thomas.  The potential is there, he’s put up some big numbers when given some opportunity, but has never been able to put it all together.  He’ll finally have his chance in L.A. and if he can’t explode now, it’s never going to happen.  He’s going to have to deal with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, making him the fourth scoring option, but should see a ton of minutes now that Derek Fisher is in Houston.  I don’t fully expect Sessions to live up to the hype, but he should be owned in every fantasy league in case it happens.

 

 

Nate Robinson GSW - If Stephen Curry is shut down, Nate's going to go on a tear.  In fact, he’s already on a tear, scoring between 17 and 21 points in three of his last four games, and is averaging 18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.0 3-pointer over his last two games.  We still don’t know if or when we’ll see Curry again, but with five games in the upcoming week, Robinson should be ready to put up some big numbers.  The Warriors finish up 5-4-4-4-5-2.

 

 

Jameer Nelson ORL – Nelson is suddenly scoring, bombing threes and dishing for the Magic.  Maybe he was motivated by the Dwight Howard trade talk, that is officially dead until this summer, but Nelson has scored 25 points in two straight games, bombing nine 3-pointers and totaling 11 assists in them.  There’s no way he stays this hot, but he’s still a solid starting point guard.  The Magic finish 3-4-3-4-4-2.

 

 

Luke Ridnour MIN- Ridnour survived the trade deadline and should handle point in Minnesota the rest of the way.  I still don’t really understand how he does it, but he’s averaging 15 points, 8.0 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games.  The Wolves finish 4-4-3-4-4-1.

 

 

Raymond Felton POR- Felton gets new life with the reformed/decimated Blazers, and should be fun to own again.  Felton and coach Nate McMillan were enemies from the get-go and now that McMillan is gone, Felton should be able to stop looking over his shoulder and start putting up big numbers again.  I’m not going to focus on what he’s been doing recently, as this is a fresh start for Felton.  The Blazers finish up 4-4-4-4-3-2.

 

 

Isaiah Thomas SAC – Thomas is still starting and getting it done for Sacramento, albeit inconsistently.  He had 21 points and four assists in his last game, has scored between 12 and 21 points in four of his last five and has buried 12 3-pointers over that stretch.  He’s not going to win you the assists category every week, but he’s still a solid fantasy player, especially now that the slump appears to have been busted.  The Kings have just three games this week, so he’s going to be on a lot of benches, but I’d rather see him there than on waiver wires.  The Kings finish 3-4-5-4-3-2.

 

 

Devin Harris UTA – Harris is still the starter in Utah, and has played better lately when healthy.  He had 19 points, eight assists and two 3-pointers on Monday against the Pistons, struggled on Wednesday, and then had 18 points, four assists and two more threes on Thursday against the Timberwolves.  He’s inconsistent, but looks much better than he did a month ago.  The Jazz finish 4-4-4-4-3-2.

 

George Hill IND – Hill is playing well off the Pacers bench, averaging 14 points, five boards, two assists, a steal and 1.7 3-pointers over his last three games.  There’s been a lot of chatter this year from beat writer Mike Wells, who has been campaigning for Hill to start at point guard on Twitter for months now.  And with Leandro Barbosa in town, the thought is that Hill can start for the struggling Darren Collison, with Barbosa coming off the bench to fill Hill’s current role.  Unless Collison picks it up soon, Wells’ vision could easily become a reality.  Just keep a close eye on Hill.  The Pacers finish 4-5-4-4-4-2.

 

 

Kirk Hinrich ATL – Hinrich has five games in the upcoming week and has been starting at shooting guard for the Hawks.  He’s not exactly tearing it up, but if he can keep the starting job, he is probably worth a pick-and-play this week.  He was hot for a minute, scoring 12 points on Sunday and 22 points on Tuesday, but hit just 1-of-5 shots for four points on Wednesday.  He can help you in scoring, rebounds well for a guard, should get three or four assists per game, along with a steal and a three.  The Hawks finish 5-4-3-3-4-2.

 

 

Baron Davis NYK - Mike Woodson is ready to slow Jeremy Lin's roll, and Baron could even end up starting at some point. I am not recommending you rush out and grab Davis, but he has been playing well off the bench and the focus in New York is going to shift completely to Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, regardless of whether that’s the right thing to do or not.  If Davis plays well the rest of the weekend, I might even come around and buy what he’s selling.  But he’s also a guy who will be very risky in weekly formats, as his chances for injury will increase with the more minutes he gets.  As for Lin, this might be your last chance to sell high on him – ever.

 

 

Daniel Gibson CLE - One look at the Cavs’ depth chart will tell you there's not much behind Kyrie Irving and Gibson could get hot.  Someone on Twitter asked me about Gibson and I kind of blew it off at first, but then took a look at what was left and it quickly became clear that Boobie is about to solid run the rest of the way.  He had 18 points and five 3-pointers on Wednesday and now that Ramon Sessions is gone, Gibson could be one of the big winners from the trade deadline.  He’s not a must-own player at this point, but he’s a guy who should be on all watch lists as the primary backup at both guard positions in Cleveland.  The Cavs finish 4-4-4-5-4-3.


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2013-14 NBA season marks his 12th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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